Supporting the people of St. Boniface who are looking for improvements in their community with respect to Industrial Metals.
Monday, May 14, I asked the Minister for Sustainable Development about the situation in St. Boniface with respect to residents concerns about pollution, noise and other issues with the current situation at Industrial Metals. Our Manitoba Liberal leader Dougald Lamont, and our team have been meeting people in St. Boniface who are very concerned about the situation and they are looking for answers. My question to the Minister and her responses are below (from Hansard). You will notice on the positive side that the Minister has held meetings with people in St. Boniface. You will also notice that she did not fully answer my questions.
Mr. Gerrard: Moving from the importance of identifying and understanding pollution and other matters in fresh water–I thank the minister for her answer to that question–in St. Boniface, there's a business called Industrial Metals. It basically has a metal shredder, which, I understand, shreds or breaks cars up into small pieces.
There are a number of issues being raised by local people with regard to this. One is it's very noisy. I wonder if, in the work that the minister's doing, that her staff could work with the business and look at the possibility of some soundproofing. There are apparently some occasional explosions, flying metal scraps, and local residents are concerned about the safety hazard. And I hope the minister would make sure that her staff are looking at that.
I gather there are local high concentrations of copper, lead, zinc and cadmium, which are of concern; lead and cadmium, particularly, potentially very problematic. There is, I gather, some sort of a government report, and I wonder when that's going to be available.
There's a consideration of automobile shredder residue, or fluff, and what's happening with that. I gather there's an Environment Canada detector for air quality, which the federal government needs direction from the Province as to where it's located, and wonder if it's possible for the Province to move it closer to this facility so that the local residents would be able to get better idea of what's happening with the local air quality.
I thank the minister.
Ms. Squires: Thanks. I appreciate the member's question. And in regards to the air and soil quality in St. Boniface, I can say that I have met with a group, the South St. Boniface Residents Association a few times. I've had them in my office and had very productive conversations with them in regards to how we can ensure the ongoing livability of their neighbourhood and as well as working in conjunction with some of the, you know, industrial organizations that have existed, that have a long history in the St. Boniface industrial park.
And I also have met with the particular organization that the member refers to, Industrial Metals, and I've had them in my office just to talk to them about some of their concerns and really bring in a more collaborative approach and moving away from some of the more inflamed tensions that have been occurring and trying to really get to the root of the challenge and see if we can find some satisfactory resolve for all concerned parties.
And we've had some success in regards to neighbourhood complaints versus the operations of organizations in an area zoned for this type of activity. One particular area in the–in and around Kenaston, for example, we had really good collaboration between neighbourhood residents' association and the industrial entity and got a good collaborative resolve so that we've got a little bit more harmony.
With this, in this particular area, with South St. Boniface Residents Association, there is a spirit of collaboration there, and with the organization, Industrial Metals, we have taken the steps of asking them to take on additional monitoring. And our department did also commit to doing additional monitoring. Those are all under the–the results are either–the one–the results that have come in have been and are being analyzed, and then there will be further analysis being conducted this summer and fall.
The member would probably know that summer and fall is when levels are expected to be at their maximums, so any analysis that we would have obtained over the winter wouldn't have been reflective of the chief concerns that the community was expressing in terms of elevation levels. So we are going to be doing more tests this summer and in the fall of 2018.
With the potential for elevated levels of lead, now, I would like to stress that all the samples that have been taken from the soil in south St. Boniface to date have shown that those lead samples–the lead in the soil–have been within the Canadian council for ministers on the environment guidelines–the CCME guidelines on lead.
And we are going to continue to do the soil sampling, and I would like to congratulate my department for some of the heightened work that they've done. They know that this is an area of significant concern, and I've asked them to be very diligent, and they've responded quite well to getting out there, doing the soil sampling and doing the particulate matter analysis, sampling and analysis on a regular basis. And they've also required additional resources, which our department was able to provide them and look at getting the air quality monitoring equipment that would allow us to undertake this work and respond to the emerging needs of the community as they come about.
We've also partnered with the University of Manitoba who have been doing some incredible work with the soil samples in that area. We know that the U of M went out and did extensive soil sampling in the summer of '17, and we're working with them to analyze and put out the results.
And, again, I can share with this House that none of the samples thus far have proven to be outside of the guidelines of the CCME for residential and parkland settings. We've also done a lot of testing in and around the–